Pages

Jump to bottom

12 comments

1 Dark_Falcon  Mon, Jun 24, 2013 7:24:20pm

There is no fairness if you do not let us cheat.”

There’s a phrase from the other side of the looking glass.

2 wheat-dogghazi  Mon, Jun 24, 2013 8:30:39pm

re: #1 Dark_Falcon

There is no fairness if you do not let us cheat.”

There’s a phrase from the other side of the looking glass.

As a Westerner teaching here in China, I still can’t get my head around the social acceptability of cheating on exams, lying in job interviews and resorting to bribery to get ahead. Some students will do their own work, and accept that perhaps their marks will be lower than someone who cheated on a test, or copied an essay from the Internet. Most, though, think it is more fair to have a level playing field, which means everyone should be allowed to cheat.

The root of the problem is the overwhelming emphasis placed on exams, which students suffer from the time they are primary school. There are entrance exams for junior middle school, senior middle school (grades 10-12), college and postgraduate study (the last of which also requires a personal interview). Then, there are required national exams to graduate university in computer science, English and Mandarin. These scores also determine what jobs you can do after graduation. People with money and influence can circumvent the exams system, the same system which is supposed to give the poor and mostly rural population a chance to get ahead.

I’ve become less hardheaded about cheating after five years here, but I warn my students that I will in fact give them a zero if I suspect they are cheating or plagiarizing anything. I’ve had to enforce that several times to make my point.

3 jonhendry  Mon, Jun 24, 2013 8:35:52pm

Yeah, people like Snowden are completely naive if they think countries like China (and companies therein) *won’t* use everything at their disposal to get ahead of the US (and companies herein).

4 justaminute  Mon, Jun 24, 2013 8:47:20pm

My daughter is a human resources specialist at a oil company parts manufacturer. She said that they were having to conduct an investigation into this young Chinese man than was hired as in an engineering position. He was having a hard time getting proficient in his assigned duties and was ultimately let go.

He filed a complaint and returned the day of his hearing with his whole family which some came all the way from China to attend. He acknowledged his difficulties but complained that he had paid another engineer money to work with him after hours to make him more proficient and he wanted his money back. That opened a whole other can of worms.

Evidently paying some one to tutor you on your job assignments is perfectly accepted in China.

5 wheat-dogghazi  Mon, Jun 24, 2013 10:55:50pm

re: #4 justaminute

He could have fabricated some aspects of his resume, or lied during the interview. And yes, it’s acceptable here to find someone off-site to help you do your job (for a fee, of course). It’s also acceptable to bring one’s entire family to bear witness to your grievances, since it increases the “face” damage if the employer stands by his or her guns and sacks someone’s sorry ass. Some Chinese employers would probably have backed down and reinstated him. Western employers, on the other hand, have a different SOP, which some Chinese employees don’t quite fathom.

6 William Barnett-Lewis  Tue, Jun 25, 2013 5:15:06am

re: #1 Dark_Falcon

There is no fairness if you do not let us cheat.”

There’s a phrase from the other side of the looking glass.

That’s the logical outcome of an over emphasis on testing ala “Every Child Left Behind”. When all that matters is a high score, teachers teach to the test and students cheat and do not learn anything. What is in this article is where we are headed in the US.

7 TDG2112  Tue, Jun 25, 2013 5:48:42am

re: #4 justaminute

Let’s be clear, this is a really HUGE problem on the mainland. Not so much Taiwan, where I lived for 5 years.

My wife is from Taiwan and works with a lot of mainlanders. Every day she comes home with stories that have root in a culture that condones test scores and cheating above all else.

Another example, when we enrolled our daughter in a Chinese class (she’s 6) the teacher tried a little competition in class. There was a HUGE argument, those who wanted to base it only on raw test scores, and those that wanted to base the score on how much personal improvement each student had made. All the mainlanders wanted it to be who knew the most Chinese, which was ridiculous since they all spoke Chinese natively at home and was in the class just to learn writing, whereas the rest of the class was there to actually learn. They did not see the problem at all.

8 wheat-dogghazi  Tue, Jun 25, 2013 7:45:08am

re: #7 TDG2112

re: #6 William Barnett-Lewis

Yup, and yup.

We’ve already seen cheating scandals in the States, because aggregate test scores are now tied to funding (and penalties). If the push for standardized “assessments” continues, those kind of abuses will continue, too.

The mainland has effectively turned secondary and tertiary education (below the Ph.D.) level into an examination mill. Courses, texts and teaching methods are all geared toward students passing the national tests. Whether they learn anything useful or practical beyond that training is more by luck than anything else. My students who have managed to study for a time in the UK and the USA marvel at our tertiary education, which allows them to question and probe their given subjects, rather than repeat what others have already said or written. Reading graduation theses is disheartening, as it’s all just retreads of what others have already said. Originality is discouraged; compliance with “accepted thought” is expected.

9 jamesfirecat  Tue, Jun 25, 2013 10:09:14am

re: #8 wheat-dogghazi

re: #6 William Barnett-Lewis

Yup, and yup.

We’ve already seen cheating scandals in the States, because aggregate test scores are now tied to funding (and penalties). If the push for standardized “assessments” continues, those kind of abuses will continue, too.

The mainland has effectively turned secondary and tertiary education (below the Ph.D.) level into an examination mill. Courses, texts and teaching methods are all geared toward students passing the national tests. Whether they learn anything useful or practical beyond that training is more by luck than anything else. My students who have managed to study for a time in the UK and the USA marvel at our tertiary education, which allows them to question and probe their given subjects, rather than repeat what others have already said or written. Reading graduation theses is disheartening, as it’s all just retreads of what others have already said. Originality is discouraged; compliance with “accepted thought” is expected.

Do you think this kind of thing is actually viewed as a feature not a bug since maybe in country with less freedom than the US the government would be willing to trade more inovative workers for having ones who will tow the party line…?

10 majii  Tue, Jun 25, 2013 10:10:26am

I’m a retired high school social studies teacher. When NCLB was passed, it changed the focus from teaching critical thinking skills to preparing students to pass the state-mandated test in social studies and other areas. Teaching and learning became less enjoyable. I’ve been doing quite a bit of reading about Finland’s education system, and it seems that their students make more academic progress than ours. I think the reasons they out achieve American students is because the Finnish government focuses on creating a level playing field for all students the moment they begin their formal education, and students aren’t tested as much in Finland as they are in the U.S. When they are tested, it is the teacher who knows his/her own students better than anyone else who creates the tests, instead of some company like ETS. More and more, public education in the U.S. is being transformed into a for profit commodity in which companies are selling education via computer, influencing lawmakers to establish more charter schools where administrators make big bucks, and some of the wealthy, like the Bush Family, are creating and peddling their own versions of standardized tests to school systems throughout the country.

11 TDG2112  Tue, Jun 25, 2013 10:10:44am

re: #8 wheat-dogghazi

I think it is more endemic to Chinese culture than anything. There are additional factors rooted in the Cultural Revolution, but the fact that the Chinese character for “school” or “Study” is a drawing of two hands (of the teacher) literally stuffing “knowledge” into a students head demonstrates how deeply engrained this style of “education” is. (this is much more clear on the Traditional character than the simplified. The simplified is barely readable IMO).

You can also point to the merit based testing for governmental positions that goes back thousands of years.

12 TDG2112  Tue, Jun 25, 2013 10:23:03am

re: #9 jamesfirecat

Do you think this kind of thing is actually viewed as a feature not a bug since maybe in country with less freedom than the US the government would be willing to trade more inovative workers for having ones who will tow the party line…?

No.

It is cultural. See my other response describing how the Traditional character for Study is written.

In Chinese you can use the word “Clever” to describe someone who has cheated/bent the rules/broken the law but not gotten caught. The word for “clever” is the same for intelligent, and creative, and for knowledgeable. The meaning is in the context of the sentence or subject matter of conversation.

I do want to qualify some of what I’m saying here. People should not read it and think “All Chinese are completely without creativity or outside the box thinking.” The system and culture weighs on it, but the fact is the population is so huge that statistically there will be some who get through.

For example, my wife went through a system similar to this in Taiwan. Cheating was not tolerated. But route memorization was the way to go. And the “only” way to get into a good High School so you would have a chance at getting into a good University was by going to one of the top elementary schools. My wife went to what was considered mediocre primary school. She excelled. She is clever in the western sense in that she focused on how and why things worked the way they did, and didn’t just memorize them.

Sometimes those schools that don’t focus so much on the tests actually produce students that have an easier time with those same tests.

So just to re-iterate, yeah, we’re dissing Chinese education here, but don’t let that make you think ALL Chinese are exact copies of the system. My wife’s mainlander boss is extremely intelligent and capable. She spits out a lot of BS, but is far more capable than you’d think if you just assumed anyone who went through the system was stupid and useless.


This page has been archived.
Comments are closed.

Jump to top

Create a PageThis is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.
Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.
Last updated: 2021-06-05 2:51 pm PDT
LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds Tweet

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!Register and sign in to a free LGF account before subscribing, and your ad-free access will be automatically enabled.

Donate with
PayPal
Cash.app Shop at amazon
as an LGF Associate!
Recent PagesClick to refresh
McConnell, When Asked, Fails to Denounce Racist ‘Replacement Theory’ Silence is assent. It's that simple and that frightening. As Democrats have ratcheted up condemnation of "replacement theory" in the wake of Saturday's mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, some Republicans on Capitol Hill have shied away from rejecting ...
Rightwingconspirator
11 hours, 11 minutes ago
Views: 99 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 •
Sen. Rick Scott Senate Re-Election Chair’s GOP PlanDaughter1 provided this clear-text draft of the GOP 11-point plan from the eye-poison on the Scott website. It is still recursive as created, crowded and full of codewords, but much more readable. The "Sundown" clause alone is enough to end ...
Decatur Deb
1 day, 18 hours ago
Views: 203 • Comments: 4 • Rating: 4
Tweets: 1 •
YUNGBLUD (With WILLOW) - Memories (Official Music Video) YUNGBLUD (with WILLOW) - Memories (Official Music Video) Stream and download “Memories (with WILLOW)” : yungblud.lnk.to watch more official YUNGBLUD videos: yungblud.lnk.to SIGN UP to YUNGBLUD's Mailing List: yungblud.lnk.to subscribe to YUNGBLUD: yungblud.lnk.to connect with YUNGBLUD online:visit the official ...
Thanos
1 week, 2 days ago
Views: 791 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 3 •